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National Survey Recognizes Top 10 Tech-Savvy Community Colleges

The Center for Digital Education's Digital Community Colleges Survey 2015-16 Awards honor community colleges that are using technology to improve how they deliver curriculum and services.

The Center for Digital Education (CDE) announced the winners of its 2015-16 Digital Community Colleges Survey. Now in its eleventh year, the survey analyzes how community colleges use a range of technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and community at large. See below for selected survey findings and the full list of top 10 winners.

“This year’s survey indicates that community colleges are making great strides in using data to improve decisions, providing professional development to assist faculty in the use of technology, and creating robust online and mobile environments for their students, said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education. "Congratulations to this year’s survey winners.”

Award winners demonstrated innovative uses of technology, including online courses and mobile environments, mobile apps, secure platforms and wireless networks.

Highlights of the First-Placed Colleges in Each Category: 

  • Montgomery County Community College, Pa. (10,000 students or more) The college continues to ensure that all new services support a mobile-first strategy and are integrated with existing Web portal, mobile, and single-sign-on solutions.  All systems used by students and staff are integrated in this manner, requiring only one set of credentials for all systems.
  • Hostos Community College, N.Y. (Between 5,000 and 10,000 students) Hostos recently launched its first mobile app, myHostos, for both the iOS and Android platforms — a significant accomplishment as they consolidated into one secure platform a number of informational and transactional systems. Hostos continues to increase the use of tech-enhanced learning through hybrid and fully-online courses to address both enrollment challenges as well as the convenience needs of our commuter students. 
  • Laramie County Community College, Wyo. (Up to 5,000 students) Last summer the college revised its portal with improved navigation, look and feel including responsive technology. In addition, the content management system allows for individual departments to control their content while also maintaining a consistent look and feel for the college's brand. The college is participating in Wyoming’s unified network that will connect all K-12 schools and community colleges with an expanded broadband network.
All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the survey within three classifications based on size of enrollment. CDE thanks last year’s first-place winners who abstained from participation to contribute as members of the development panel for this year's survey: Northern Virginia Community College, Va.; Lord Fairfax Community College, Va.; and Carl Sandburg College, Ill.

The top-10 ranked colleges will be honored at a reception April 10th in Chicago, concurrent with the American Association of Community College’s annual conference.

2015-2016 Digital Community Colleges Survey Top Ten-Ranking Winners


Large Colleges Category - 10,000 Students or More:

1st Montgomery County Community College, PA

2nd Howard Community College, MD

2nd J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, VA

3rd Bucks County Community College, PA

3rd Thomas Nelson Community College, VA

3rd William Rainey Harper College, IL

4th Fayetteville Technical Community College, NC

4th Lone Star College, TX

5th Columbus State Community College, OH

5th Harrisburg Area Community College, PA

6th Northampton Community College, PA

6th Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, NC

7th Central Piedmont Community College, NC

7th Delaware Technical Community College, DE

8th Community College of Rhode Island, RI

9th Pellissippi State Community College, TN

9th Saint Paul College, MN

10th San Antonio College, TX

10th Tidewater Community College, VA


Mid-Sized Colleges Category - Between 5,000 and 10,000 Students

1st Hostos Community College, NY

2nd Virginia Western Community College, VA

2nd Walters State Community College, TN

3rd Delta College, MI

4th Blue Ridge Community College, VA

4th Linn-Benton Community College, OR

5th Piedmont Virginia Community College, VA

6th Minnesota West Community and Technical College, MN

6th Nash Community College, NC

7th Cleveland Community College, NC

8th Odessa College, TX

8th Southside Virginia Community College, VA

9th Central Virginia Community College, VA

9th Lake Land College, IL

10th Germanna Community College, VA

10th Mott Community College, MI 


Small Colleges Category – Up to 5,000 Students:

1st Laramie County Community College, WY

2nd Mid-Plains Community College, NE

3rd Lake Sumter State College, FL

3rd Rappahannock Community College, VA

4th Halifax Community College, NC

5th Manchester Community College, NH

5th St. Clair County Community College, MI

6th Tompkins Cortland Community College, NY

7th Columbia State Community College, TN

7th Patrick Henry Community College, VA

8th Jefferson County Community College, NY

8th Lake Area Technical Institute, SD

9th Bay de Noc Community College, MI

9th Panola College, TX

10th Kirtland Community College, MI


Selected Survey Findings:

Digital Community Colleges Survey Top 10 Priorities for the Coming Year: 

  1. Mobility (devices/ app support); and Website Redesign/ Updates
  2. Cyber Security Tools and Testing
  3. Network Infrastructure Modernization (Wired and/or Wireless)
  4. Server Consolidation and Virtualization
  5. Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
  6. Digital Content and Curriculum
  7. Hire and Retain Competent IT Personnel
  8. Computer Refresh
  9. Server Refresh
  10. New/Updated Enterprise System 
Professional Development: 

  • 93% of colleges provide professional development on how to integrate technology into curriculum and instructional practices.
  • 59% of the colleges offer professional development for teachers on how to use mobile apps for instruction.
  • 30% of the colleges mandate ongoing technology-based instructional training and require attendance multiple times a year. 
Social Media:

  • 46% have developed and published social media policies — an 18 percent increase in the last four years. 
  • 27% of the colleges’ policies address teacher/student interactions on social media sites.
  • 11% of colleges have social media archive tools so that exchanges can be captured / recorded. (down 9% since last year) 
Internet of Things: 42% of colleges are actively considering the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) in their strategic planning. 

Job placement: The college is using technology to support student job placement through:  

  • 90% - Online access to job postings and career information (up 8% from last year)
  • 64% - Online resume-building tool (up 6% from last year)
  • 52% - Online job placement program, including any partnerships with private sector companies  
Data Management:

  • 48% of colleges report that server virtualization is complete (up 5 percent from last year)
  • 36% of colleges report that data center consolidation is complete (up 4 percent)
  • 78% of colleges surveyed use cloud computing services which have resulted in cost savings
  • 96% of colleges surveyed have an emergency alerting and notification system in place; such as phone, text, computer pop-up alerts, broadcast or other voice-alerting devices in the classroom.
  • 90% of colleges surveyed have back-up for technology systems and data in place
  • 62% of colleges surveyed have tested their back-up for technology (such as cloud solutions, onsite or offsite system) with successful results 
About the Center for Digital Education:

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy, and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.

CDE is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education. 

For more information contact Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards,


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